What is the significance of the details contained in the Pasuk "It was all watered... like the garden of HaSh-m, like the land of Egypt"?


Rashi #1 and Ramban: The Pasuk is telling us that Lot was about to choose that area because it contained many flowing rivers, an abundance of trees (like Gan Eden) and a variety of crops (like Egypt of that time). 1


Ramban: The entire plains of the Yarden was easy to water from the River Yarden (like Gan Eden from "the river that went out from Eden to water the Garden"), and like the Torah testifies (in Devarim 11:10) with regard to Egypt, which it compares to a vegetable garden.


Rashi #2 (based on the Gemara in Horayos 10b): Virtually all the words in the Pasuk hint to the sin of promiscuity, which is what attracted Lot to the area of Sedom and Amorah. 2


Riva: Rashi himself (to Bamidbar 15:15) explains, "like Gan HaSh-m, so is Eretz Mitzrayim"!


Targum Yonasan also hints at this.



Rashi writes: "Before HaSh-m destroyed Sedom... - that valley was...." What is Rashi adding?


Gur Aryeh: The phrase, " Before HaSh-m destroyed Sedom" is connected to the latter half of the verse, and informs us what the plain of Sedom was like before its destruction. It cannot be connected to the beginning of the verse, "And Lot saw [that before Sedom was destroyed...]," for Lot did not know that Sedom would be destroyed.


Rashi writes: "'Like the garden of HaSh-m' - regarding trees; 'Like the land of Egypt' - regarding crops." Why explain this way?


Gur Aryeh: If the verse already described the land to be as fertile as Gan Eden, what is added by comparing it to Egypt!? Rather, there must have been another aspect that was not present in Gan Eden, namely its crops.


Rashi writes: "'Bo'a'cha Tzoar' - until Tzoar." What is Rashi clarifying?


Gur Aryeh: The word "Bo'a'cha" cannot mean that the approach to Tzoar alone was fertile, because that refers to a very small area. Rather the entire plain was fertile, all the way until Tzoar.


Rashi writes: "It was due to their being steeped in immorality that Lot chose to live in their proximity." From where is this derived?


Gur Aryeh: The verse begins, "Lot lifted up his eyes." This is an expression of promiscuity, as we find regarding the wife of Potifar (Bereishis 39:7). See Horayos 10b. Refer to 13:10:1:3.

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